CCIS Spotlight: Persons with Disabilities

The COVID Community Impact Survey (CCIS) Persons with Disabilities Spotlight highlights the experiences and inequities faced by persons with disabilities during the pandemic.

Table of Contents

Summary of key findings

  • CCIS begins to fill an important gap in COVID-19 data by allowing us to examine the experience of multiple disability subgroups, with over 4,100 survey respondents with 1+ disability. 
  • Although discrimination based on disability is prohibited, socioeconomic inequities are seen across disability subgroups. People with disabilities have lower levels of education than people without disabilities and are also more likely to have incomes below the poverty level.  
  • People with disabilities often faced barriers when implementing best practices for  preventing the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, handwashing, and keeping a six-foot distance from others. 
  • Employed deaf or hard of hearing respondents were more likely to experience job loss and reduced hours or leave due to the pandemic compared to hearing respondents. Forty percent of deaf or hard of hearing respondents reported being worried about paying upcoming expenses and/or bills. 
  • Compared to seeing respondents, respondents who are blind or have a vision impairment reported higher rates of concern for obtaining multiple basic needs, including food, housing, medication, broadband, and utilities.
  • Respondents with a self-care or independent-living disability were more likely to have not gotten needed medical care since July 2020, worry about basic needs such as food, medication, and broadband, and report poor mental health days. 
  • The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health of people with disabilities. Respondents who have a cognitive disability were over two times as likely to report 15+ days of poor mental health and 3+ PTSD-like reactions to COVID-19 in the last month compared to respondents who do not have a cognitive disability. 
  • The experiences of persons with different types of disabilities are unique and nuanced. Acknowledging these differences and centering the needs of people with disabilities will strengthen our pandemic response and improve accessibility for all. 

Spotlight slides and webinar

Additional Resources

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